Startup Biofourmis moves into oncology with Gaido Health acquistion

Digital therapeutics startup Biofourmis announced Thursday it has acquired Gaido Health from Takeda Pharmaceuticals. 

Los Angeles-based Gaido Health is an oncology-focused patient monitoring platform that was part of Takeda Digital Ventures, Takeda's corporate technology investment and incubation arm.

The acquisition was a cash deal, but other financial terms were not disclosed.

Biofourmis uses analytics, artificial intelligence, and wearables to remotely monitor heart failure patients. The company's platform monitors patients' physiology biomarkers and symptoms to detects early signs of complications and enables clinicians to intervene earlier.

The company's technology also is being used by doctors and researchers in Hong Kong to aid with COVID-19 disease surveillance and to help researchers better understand the illness. 

The deal expands Biofourmis' portfolio in the oncology space, the company said. Before the acquisition, Gaido Health was already using Biofourmis' Everion wearable biosensor for home monitoring.

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The Boston-based startup wants to address a "disconnected oncology care pathway" that has led to more than 30% of patients on chemotherapy being readmitted to the hospital or requiring a visit to the emergency department. In the United States alone, 1.6 million patients are diagnosed with cancer each year, and the total cost of care is expected to rise to $170 billion in 2020, according to Biofourmis.

Biofourmis' digital therapeutics solution for oncology will combine Gaido Health's platform and the company's predictive analytics capabilities to more effectively monitor oncology patients and detect early signs of clinical complications after receiving treatment, Kuldeep Singh Rajput, CEO of Biofourmis, told FierceHealthcare.

"We are building an ecosystem and an end-to-end platform to serve our customers with the right tools for patients, including sensors, mobile apps, and advanced analytics, combined with the right clinical tools and integrated care pathways for clinicians," he said.

The acquisition is timely since the companies’ combined therapy can keep patients with cancer in their homes following discharge from the hospital—especially in light of oncology patients being immunocompromised from their treatments and therefore more susceptible to viruses, including COVID-19.

"We pushed hard to close the deal in time," Singh said. "All hospitals in the U.S. are building strategies to keep oncology patients out of hospitals to prevent patients from getting infected."

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Gaido Health's solution, which will be supported by Biofourmis' existing Biovitals platform, combines information on vital signs collected via remote monitoring in the home, patient surveys and analytics to detect early signs of complications in patients with cancer who have been recently discharged from the hospital.

Rajput said that Gaido Health's focus on oncology complements Biofourmis' existing digital therapeutics portfolio, which includes therapeutic areas such as heart failure, chronic pain, and other cardiometabolic diseases.

The digital therapeutics platform can also help to manage toxicities in patients undergoing CAR-T cell therapy, a form of immunotherapy that uses specially altered T cells—a part of the immune system—to fight cancer.

"By closely monitoring these groups of patients in their homes following discharge, providers can improve outcomes, decrease readmission rates, and lower the cost of care," Rajput said.

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The total cost of CAR T-cell therapy has been estimated to be more than double the cost of the drug when factoring in post-therapy hospitalization and the treatment of toxic side effects.

Using the Gaido Health platform, patients can be monitored at home to detect early signs of any clinical complications following therapy, which will enable care teams to receive real-time actionable alerts for earlier interventions that can prevent medical crises, the company said.

Biofourmis is in discussions with large health systems and pharmaceutical companies to offers the digital therapeutics platform as a companion with an oncology drug or CAR-T cell therapy, Rajput said.

The company also announced that Gaido Health's CEO Gary Manning will be joining Biofourmis as senior vice president of corporate development.

Manning said in a statement that Biofourmis' acquisition of Gaido Health will expand the population of remotely monitored patients. "Using Biofourmis' innovative technology will move our capabilities from detection of deterioration to prediction and enable earlier interventions using software-based therapeutics," he said.